This week, NVIDIA and AMD, manufacturers of advanced GPUs used in HPC-AI workloads, became involved in the crumbling relations and ongoing trade war between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.
Nvidia announced yesterday that the US government has prohibited it from selling to the PRC its A100 Tensor Core GPU, which has been on the market since 2020, as well as its upcoming H100 Tensor Core GPU, which will be available in Q3 2022.
According to news reports, Nvidia could lose $400 million in sales revenue per quarter, but the company can continue to develop the H100 with its Chinese development partners. According to CNBC, NVIDIA is also permitted to ship GPUs from its Hong Kong facility to the United Kingdom and France.
AMD was also told to stop selling its Instinct MI250 GPUs to China, which helps power the world’s top supercomputer, Frontier, however, the impact on the company is anticipated to be minor because AMD does so little business in China. AMD stated that it will be permitted to continue shipping its MI100 GPU to China.
The ban did not apply to NVIDIA or AMD CPUs. By Thursday afternoon, NVIDIA’s stock had fallen 8% on the news, while AMD’s stock had fallen 5%. The new bans include Russia, despite the fact that NVIDIA and AMD stopped shipping chips to that country following its invasion of Ukraine.
While we are unable to outline specific policy changes at this time, we are taking an exhaustive approach to enforcing additional actions needed relating to technologies, end-uses, and end-users to safeguard US national security and foreign policy interests, a US Department of Commerce spokesperson said in a statement.
In other chip industry news, chip designer Arm, the subject of a failed acquisition by NVIDIA earlier this year, has filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm over the latter’s $1.4 billion purchase of Nuvia. Arm, based in the United Kingdom, is attempting to compel Nuvia to destroy designs created under its license with Arm.
Arm claims that its approval was required before Qualcomm could transfer licenses from Nuvia, which Qualcomm purchased in March 2021. Arm reported that it tried for more than a year to reach an agreement with Qualcomm before canceling the licenses last February.
Qualcomm stated that Arm has no right to interfere with Qualcomm’s or Nuvia’s innovations, and we are confident those rights will be upheld.